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Applicants lining up to be Pickens superintendent



     The field of candidates for the schools superintendent position is much more crowded than expected, with 49 applications received by the school board before the February 28th deadline.

Currently, Dr. Charles Webb is serving as interim superintendent. He was hired on a six-month contract after Dr. Lula Mae Perry resigned on January 1st. Dr. Perry was initially hired as interim superintendent in 2013 to replace Dr. Ben Desper. A few weeks after taking office as interim, the school board at that time asked her to extend her initial contract.

Trailer Trash: Roper Park trailer move swamped


Damon Howell / Photo

Debris scattered around the trailer at Roper Park. The county had hoped the trailer would have found a new home at the airport, but the move may never happen.



It appears the trailer at Roper Park may be heading for the dump instead of the airport.

The triple-wide trailer had served as the previous Boys & Girls Club building and earlier this year appeared destined to become a base at the airport. But slow work and rain may have doomed the project.

     The ramshackle mess now sitting between the baseball fields looks like something hit by a tornado with piles of wood, plenty of exposed nails, sheets of tin and other debris piled around it.

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 

Friends, coach share memories of Pickens student killed in wreck

Jordan Simonds was the type of person “everyone wanted to know”  



Jordan Simonds knew how to touch everyone’s heart. “He was amazing,” says longtime friend. “He knew what life was about.” Photo courtesy of family

 Sixteen-year-old Jordan Matthew Simonds died Saturday, March 11 when the 2004 Jeep Liberty he was driving careened off an embankment on Salem Church Road.

Simonds, a PHS sophomore, was transported to Piedmont Mountainside Hospital and his 15-year-old passenger, Jed Groover, was taken by helicopter to Kennestone Hospital where he remains in intensive care. 

Ghost hunter finds spirits in Cherokee removal fort


Ghost hunter and author Jeanne Wells at Fort Newnan in Blaine.

By Jeanne Wells

Author of forthcoming book on Georgia ghosts

The third smallest town in Georgia -Talking Rock - was originally part of the Cherokee Nation. Its name may have derived from a rock formation that echoed, or from the sound of water running over the rocks in the creek. 

The Cherokee who lived in the surrounding area were eventually taken and held at an “Indigenous Peoples” removal fort called Fort Newnan. Fort Newnan is located in a community near Talking Rock called Blaine. The Fort’s location itself is believed to have been near the town’s Masonic Lodge. Established in 1838, the fortification was set up as a detainment camp and was  used to round up the Cherokee before their long walk on the Trail of Tears. 

Find her Facebook page Spirits, Angels and Paranormal here

See full story in this week's print or online editions. 


PHS sophomore killed in single car wreck

From Pickens Sheriff Press Release

Earlier this afternoon, a tragic automobile accident claimed the life of 16-year-old Jordan Simonds. Along with Jordan, a passenger was also injured and had to be flown to Kennestone Hospital.
The accident only involved one vehicle and it occurred on Salem Church Road. The Georgia State Patrol Responded and is conducting the investigation into the accident at this time.

Jordan was a Sophomore at Pickens High School and played on the PHS Football team. 

We are asking our community to keep the Simonds family, in your thought and prayers. We would also like to ask that everyone pray for the students and staff at Pickens High School as well. School officials are going to have additional counselors on hand at Pickens High School on Monday to assist with any grieving students. 

The passenger was also a juvenile and he was alert and speaking with First Responders on the scene. At this time, we are not releasing his name but can confirm that his family members have been contacted.